“Fluoride, Good or Bad?”

Fluoride View definition in a new window treatment is effective with preventing cavities and tooth decay. As a dentist, this is what I have recommended to people who I see can benefit from fluoride treatment’s ability to remineralize and desensitize your teeth. However, I must confess there is risk involved with using fluoride due to its potentially damaging systematic effects.

Fluorine, the ionized form of fluoride is highly active to phosphate ions in your body (where calcium is found in large amounts – like the bones and teeth). In teeth, fluorine combines with the inorganic compound apatite, to form a harder, less water-soluble fluoride salt, which resists the acidic erosion of some oral environments. A pregnant mother’s fluorine intake affects the primary teeth of the fetus. Fluorine intake from fluoridated water (or a fluoride supplement) can also affect teeth in child development of up to around age 8 (making teeth harder and more resistant to decay). Unfortunately, excessive amounts of fluoride can lead to fluorosis, which causes white, brown or black stains (and even pitting) of the teeth, and/or brittle, aching bones and joints. An even darker fact regarding fluoride: many researchers believe it is carcinogenic. Japanese research has shown fluoride as being capable of transforming healthy cells into cancer cells. Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Health has found that young men exposed to fluoridated water have a much higher occurrence rate of bone cancer. Other studies performed by private corporations (Procter & Gamble in particular) have shown fluoride used to fluoridate public water sources significantly increases the chances of genetic damage in its drinkers.

So use fluoride with caution – it is beneficial for cavity View definition in a new window prevention and treating tooth sensitivity, but it is for topical use only – do not ingest! Children especially need special care from their parents with undertaking any type of fluoride treatment, no fluoride toothpaste or fluoride should ever be swallowed. If fluoride use is recommended by your doctor or dental professional, calcium supplements (or food rich in calcium like dairy products) are recommended to ensure your bones stay strong and balance out any potential loss of calcium due to fluorine exposure.

There are alternatives for remineralizing your tooth structure, such as calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate. If you have any concerns, speak with your dental professional. Remember, the best way to prevent tooth decay is to eat sensibly and keep your mouth sparkling clean by properly brushing and flossing after every meal.


“I Have Sensitive Teeth!”

Do you suspect you have a cavity View definition in a new window because you have a sensitive tooth? Do you stay away from ice cream, even though your teeth are not your waist line?

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem. It can be brought on from temperature change, applied pressure or touch;  each sign and symptom tells a different story. There are two types of tooth sensitivity :

Dentinal sensitivity is quite common and is caused when the dentin View definition in a new window, the layer of the tooth beneath the enamel View definition in a new window, is exposed to your oral environment. As your teeth are used and abused, the outer enamel layer of the teeth becomes worn. Night grinding (bruxism), tooth decay, gum recession View definition in a new window and damaged dental work (such as fillings) will all eventually cause the dentin ¬†to become exposed. Because of dentin’s porous nature, when the protective enamel layer of your tooth is compromised, any food or temperature stimulation will affect the nerve endings within the tooth’s core View definition in a new window, causing varying levels of pain.

Pulpal sensitivity is an inflammatory reaction of the pulpal tissues, including blood vessels and nerves in the center of the tooth. The causes of this type of sensitivity include tooth decay or infection, recent dental work, night grinding or injured and broken teeth.

To have your dental professional assess your dental condition, you must have a proper diagnosis View definition in a new window! Afterwards, your dentist will provide you with proper treatment options, which could include a proper oral hygiene program, cleaning the mouth after every meal using a soft tooth brush and appropriate toothpaste (containing fluoride View definition in a new window or potassium), and brushing and flossing twice a day. Home fluoride rinse or gel can be used to desensitize and remineralize  your teeth. A night guard View definition in a new window can be custom fitted to your mouth to protect your oral structure (worn while you sleep). A proper diet (eliminating sweets and/or acidic foods and beverages) will help prevent sensitivity. Your dental professional can work with you to harmonize and balance your bite so all teeth receive proper loading force as well Рa proper fit and selection of dental restorations will assure integrity of pulpal health.And there is possibility for root canal therapy or Gum treatments if the problems are more advanced.

It’s time to start taking care of yourself – get the proper treatment for your tooth sensitivity and be worry free!